The Scoop:Rolling Stone’s top album list of 2014 contains a few surprises that may leave a few music fans dumbfounded. Topping the magazine’s list is U2‘s controversial thirteenth studio album, Songs of Innocence. The record caused a great deal of uproar upon its surprise release in September, made free to all iTunes customers, igniting a wide array of responses. Despite receiving relatively mixed reviews from music critics, Rolling Stone, who gave it five-stars upon release, has awarded it with the honor of best album of 2014, calling it “the rebirth of the year”, possibly the band’s most complete release.
Another Rolling Stone favorite, Bruce Springsteen, followed closely behind U2. High Hopes came in second on the magazine’s list. Springsteen has always been a favorite with RS, with his past three studio albums, Magic, Working on a Dream, and Wrecking Ball all receiving perfect, five-star ratings. While High Hopes only received four-and-a-half, the magazine looked at it as a hard look at “the fault lines in the American Dream”. While not as polarizing as Songs of Innocence, the album received mixed critical opinion when compared to some his other 2000s albums.
Rounding out the top five are The Black Keys, St. Vincent and Miranda Lambert.
A number of other notable artists found their way onto this year’s list. Rolling Stone favorites Jack White, Foo Fighters and Taylor Swift all found themselves in the top 40 of this list, placing at #40, #12, and #10 respectively. Coldplay, The War on Drugs and Alt-J earned a place among Rolling Stone’s list.
Click here to read the entire list, 50 albums in all.
The Spin: If you’re looking for our take on these records, be sure to check out our reviews of the records mentioned above. Also, be on the look out for MEB’s EOTY lists for 2014, as well as the 2014 MEBBies.
The Question: How do you feel about this year’s list? Do you think Songs of Innocence and High Hopes are all Rolling Stone makes them out to be? Who did they miss? Let us know in the replies!